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Food for soothing thoughts

Stay sane through the COVID-19 pandemic by cooking for comfort with these recipes inspired by the departments in the College of Liberal Arts.

By Rachel Knight, Alix Poth, and Kasey Langley

Uncertainty can be scary, and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought an abundance of uncertainty to people across the globe. As we all hunker down and prepare for what seems like endless social isolation, fear and a feeling of helplessness might start creeping into your thoughts and feelings. 

Working with your hands, staying busy, and completing a task that has a clear purpose can help soothe fear and anxiety. Though we should be clear that cooking is not a cure-all, it is something you can do while socially isolated to stay busy and connect with a less-stressed part of your brain.

To help you get started cooking up stress relief, the College of Liberal Arts has compiled recipes inspired by the departments in the college. We hope you enjoy cooking up comfort foods for soothing thoughts!

Great Granola Escape


Dr. Vaughn Bryant, a professor in the Department of Anthropology, put Texas A&M University on the map by using his anthropology expertise to solve crimes related to honey. Learn more about that here while using honey to make homemade granola!

Don’t be Sourdough

Sourdough Bread

Follow Dr. Jennifer Mercieca’s example and make sourdough bread instead of being sour to those you’re isolating with! Dr. Mercieca is an associate professor in the Department of Communication who specializes in rhetoric and public affairs. She’s taken up baking while working from home during the quarantine. 

Use your (ramen) noodle to save money

Ramen Noodles
The Department of Economics has some pretty amazing students. Whether these students are self isolated in a house with a full kitchen or just a dorm room with a microwave, this budget friendly ramen noodle recipe is so easy to make and enjoy.

Breakfast from Frankenstein

Charcuterie Board

Have you ever noticed how often food shows up in literature? Even books like Frankenstein can make your mouth water. This line in particular might make you want to eat a charcuterie board! “I greedily devoured the remnants of the shepherd’s breakfast, which consisted of bread, cheese, milk, and wine.” 

Hispanic Studies
Everything is Flan


You’ll feel like everything is fine once you take a bite of this authentic flan! Our Hispanic studies department is on a mission to create and disseminate knowledge about cultures and languages of the Hispanic world. Introduce yourself and your family to this decadent recipe and other parts of Hispanic culture while you’ve got extra time to spend at home. 

New Day, Same Stew

Beef Stew

Some recipes, like stew, have really withstood the test of time. Don’t take our word for it though. Historians in the Department of History uncover parts of our past that helped shape who we are today. Just as stews have a diverse set of ingredients and aromas, our history department studies diverse peoples, ideas, and cultures from around the globe.

Interdisciplinary Critical Studies
Kitchen Sink Cookies

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Established in 2017, this department combines the programs of Africana Studies, Film and Media Studies, Latino/a and Mexican American Studies, Religious Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Each of these programs is interdisciplinary in that it draws talented faculty from various disciplines within the college. Bringing their own unique perspectives, faculty and students in this unit examining everything but the, well, kitchen sink.

International Studies
Stir Crazy Stir Fry

Chicken Stir Fry

Traveling may be limited right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t broaden your horizons with fun recipes from around the world! Keep from going stir-crazy by making something fun like stir fry. The Department of International Studies gives students a taste of what the world has to offer.

Performance Studies
Cheeseburgers are Paradise


The Department of Performance Studies seeks the knowledge performance reveals about human experience and culture. The experience of hearing Jimmy Buffett sing, “Cheeseburger in Paradise” might leave you hankering for a good old fashioned cheeseburger. Escape to your own paradise by cranking up the tunes and the grill when you make cheeseburgers at home. 

Baklava in Time

COVID-19 is often compared to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which may leave you feeling as if you’ve gone back in time. Philosophy can be traced back to Greek philosophers like Socrates. What would you ask Socrates if you could travel back in time and have a conversation over a Greek pastry? You may not be able to talk to Socrates, but you can certainly make Baklava and learn more about award winning philosophers teaching at Texas A&M Department of Philosophy! 

Political Science
A-pico-lypse de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Our political science professors are gearing up for the election and the COVID-19 pandemic by making some of their favorite snacks. Binge-eating during COVID-19 and the upcoming election doesn’t have to be totally unhealthy. Making pico de gallo and paring it with a single serving size of tortilla chips will give you the satisfaction of crunching while munching on fresh veggies. 

Psychological & Brain Sciences
Quarantine Cake

Chocolate Cake

Experts say chocolate and coffee improve some brain functions. Consuming both of those is a piece of cake when you make this recipe. In addition to understanding the perks of eating some of our favorite foods, researchers in the department of Psychological & Brain Sciences are working to better understand PTSD and attention.

Reuben Me the Right Way

Reuben Sandwish

Perhaps one of the best known Department of Sociology professors at Texas A&M is Dr. Reuben A. Buford May. Students call him “The Rapping Professor”, because he raps around campus. This Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence does an extraordinary job of exemplifying the department’s interest in human behavior, the human condition, and social justice. Learn more about Dr. Reuben and make a reuben sandwich in his honor!